06.05.11:Work started recently on the project known as “undergrounding”. The National Trust is spending nearly £50,000 digging trenches between St Just and St Mawes so the overhead cables can be laid in the earth by Western Power Distribution (WPD), at a cost of £118,500.The utility company is laying 2,300 metres of high voltage cable between Trevennel and St Mawes Castle to allow the removal of 26 wooden poles and wires.The trench digging and laying work is expected to take two weeks, but WPD said the switchover was due to be completed by early autumn.
The Roseland Peninsula is part of the South Coast Central section of the AONB and it is hoped the work will help preserve and enhance the landscape.There have been years of work in the lead-up to the project and Bill Makin, head ranger for the National Trust in mid-Cornwall, said, “When we get the chance to improve the landscape we feel it’s worthwhile to do, especially at times when Western Power might be rewiring overhead lines or where they were causing them problems, as in this situation. “It’s a stunning landscape, highly visible from the landward side and more importantly from the seaward side, from Carrick Roads. The trust owns the western side of the Roseland and we have worked quite hard to maintain the landscape there from unwanted development and overhead lines are a blot on the landscape. It’s something we have long harboured the wish to have removed.”
Peter Maxted, from Cornwall AONB (Area Of Outstanding Natural Beauty) Unit, said the work was “recognition for the first time that a private sector company appreciates it is a stakeholder in protected landscapes and there is a cost to spoiling them”. He said the work would make a “huge difference to the look of the landscape” and the whole Unit was “over the moon” to see it going ahead.